Category Archives: OEFFA Press Releases

Organic Advocate Jeff Moyer to Address Ohio’s Largest Sustainable Food and Farm Conference

For Immediate Release: December 11, 2017

Contact:
Renee Hunt, Program Director, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 205, renee@oeffa.org
Lauren Ketcham, Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 203, lauren@oeffa.org
  
The role that technology, biology, consumers, and farmers play in changing agriculture and food will be the focus of a keynote address by long-time organic farmer and advocate Jeff Moyer at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 39th annual conference, A Taste for Change, this February in Dayton, Ohio.

In his Friday, February 16 keynote address, “Welcome to the Future of Change!,” Moyer, Executive Director of the Rodale Institute, will share his perspective on the organic movement and organic agriculture’s role in our present and future food system.

“We are in the midst of an expanding food fight, a fight for how our food will be produced and marketed. To be successful, farmers will need to rethink their practices to meet the rapidly changing landscape technology is creating,” said Moyer.

Moyer is a world renowned authority in organic agriculture with expertise in organic crop production systems, weed management, cover crops, crop rotations, equipment modification and use, and facilities design.

In September 2015, Moyer was appointed as Executive Director of Rodale Institute after spending the last four decades at the Institute, helping countless farmers make the transition from conventional, chemical-based farming to organic methods. The Rodale Institute, a 330 acre research farm and non-profit in eastern Pennsylvania dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach, is home to the Farming Systems Trial, America’s longest-running side-by-side comparison of chemical and organic agriculture.
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In 2016, farmers from across the country came together to launch the Organic Farmers Association to unite organic farmers for a better future together. Rodale Institute supports this initiative as fiscal sponsor and partner with OFA’s farmer leadership.

“A lot of people say they speak for farmers,” Moyer said in a Rodale Institute press release. “But there are no national organizations that exist specifically for organic farmers, by organic farmers. A lot of organic farmers are still isolated in their communities. We’d like to unite the nearly 20,000 organic farms around the country to provide that voice, provide a network, and provide the resources that farmers need to be successful.”

He conceptualized and popularized the No Till Roller Crimper for use in organic agriculture and in 2011, he wrote Organic No-Till Farming, a publication that has become a resource for farmers throughout the world.

Moyer is a past chair of the National Organic Standards Board; a founding board member of Pennsylvania Certified Organic; board chair of The Seed Farm; board member of the Soil Health Institute, PA Farm Link, and IFOAM North America, and a past board member of the Organic Farming Research Foundation.

On Friday, February 16, Moyer will also be a panelist in a 90 minute conference workshop, “Better On-Farm Research for Better Organic Farming,” along with Tim Kline of Meandering Creek Farm, Elizabeth Maynard of Purdue University, and Douglas Jackson-Smith of Ohio State University. He will address the components of quality on-farm research and the importance of organic research to farming practices and growing the industry economically and politically.

“We’re excited to welcome Jeff to this year’s conference,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “As a leader in the organic movement for decades, and as one of the country’s leading authorities on organic farming and research, he has a wealth of knowledge to share.”

Moyer will speak as part of Ohio’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, which will run Thursday, February 15 through Saturday, February 17 at the Dayton Convention Center.

In addition to Moyer, this year’s conference will feature keynote speaker Stacy Malkan on February 17; nearly 80 educational workshops; four full-day Food and Farm School classes on February 15; a three-day trade show; networking events; activities for children; locally-sourced meals; a raffle; book sales and signings, and more.

For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2018.

 

Registration Now Open for Ohio’s Largest Sustainable Food and Farm Conference

For Immediate Release: November 29, 2017

Contact:
Renee Hunt, Program Director, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 205, renee@oeffa.org
Lauren Ketcham, Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 203, lauren@oeffa.org
  
Registration is now open for Ohio’s premier educational and networking event for ecological farmers, backyard growers, and others committed to sustainable agriculture, local food, and green living.
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The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 39th annual conference, A Taste for Change, will run Thursday, February 15 through Saturday, February 17 at the Dayton Convention Center in Dayton, Ohio.
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“The conference is three days of learning, networking, sharing, and breaking bread with an inspiring and growing community of farmers and local food advocates,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “Each year, we draw more than 1,200 attendees, and our diverse schedule offers something for all tastes.”

Online registration is now open at www.oeffa.org/conference2018.

OEFFA’s popular conference will feature:
  
Keynote Speakers 
 
Friday keynote speaker Jeff Moyer is a world renowned authority in organic agriculture. He conceptualized and popularized the No Till Roller Crimper and wrote Organic No-Till Farming. He is the Executive Director of the Rodale Institute, which helps farmers make the transition from conventional, chemical-based farming to organic methods. He is a past chair of the National Organic Standards Board.
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Saturday keynote speaker Stacy Malkan is an author, journalist, and leading consumer advocate for safer products. Stacy is co-founder and co-director of the nonprofit group U.S. Right to Know, whose mission is to educate and inform consumers about the often hidden practices that shape the food system. She served as media director for the 2012 ballot initiative in California to label genetically engineered foods.
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Food and Farm School
Four full-day Thursday Food and Farm School class options are designed to help gardeners take control of their health and assist farmers in honing their farm skills and meeting new challenges:
Workshops, Networking, and More
This three day event offers more than 100 hours of workshops, abundant networking opportunities in the Exhibit Hall and beyond, moments to unwind and share a drink with new friends, activities to please the whole family, and more including:

For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2018. OEFFA is offering a special registration rate for members who register by December 14. A limited number of beginning farmer scholarships and reduced rate volunteer spaces are also available. Online registration will be open until January 29. On-site walk-in registration will also be available for an additional fee.

Our Sponsors

 
Ag Organic | Albert Lea Seed Co. | Certis USA | Columbus Irrigation | Dale Filbrun and Family, Morning Sun Farm |  The Fertrell Company | Food + AgriCultural Transformation at Ohio State (InFACT) | Hiland Supply Co. | Lucky Cat Bakery | Paul Hall & Associates | Ohio Earth Food | Stauf’s Coffee Roasters | SuperGro of Iowa | WQTT Ag Today Central Ohio
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Andelain Fields | Chelsea Green Publishing | Curly Tail Organic Farm | Eden Foods | Kevin Morgan Studio | Lucky Penny Farm | OEFFA Grain Growers Chapter | Plant Talk Radio | Tea Hills Farms | Trader Joe’s Easton Town Center Store
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Ag Credit, Agricultural Cooperative Association | Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Coalition | Bexley Natural Market |  Blue Jacket Dairy| Branstool Orchards | Carfagna’s | Carriage House Farm | Fedco Seeds | Great Lakes Organic Feed Mill | Hartzler Family Dairy | IBA | Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream | Marshy Meadows Farm | Mockingbird Meadows  | Nourse Farms | Storehouse Tea | Stutzman Farms

Statement from the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association on Repeated Delay of USDA Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule

For Immediate Release:
November 10, 2017

Contact:
Amalie Lipstreu, OEFFA Policy Program Coordinator—(614) 421-2022, amalie@oeffa.org
Lauren Ketcham, OEFFA Communications Coordinator—(614) 421-2022, lauren@oeffa.org

COLUMBUS, OH—Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released notice that they are delaying, for the third time, implementation of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule.

“The USDA’s move this week should be seen for what it is: a clear attempt to let industrial agriculture interests usurp the legitimacy of the organic label,” said OEFFA Policy Program Coordinator Amalie Lipstreu. “This rule has been in the making for more than 10 years and has been fully vetted.”

The OLPP final rule would amend production requirements for livestock and poultry under the USDA organic regulations. This rule adds new provisions for how livestock are handled during transport for slaughter as well as avian living conditions. The rule also expands and clarifies existing requirements covering livestock care and production practices and mammalian living conditions. The OLPP final rule was scheduled to become effective on March 20, 2017.

Instead, last spring, AMS published a notice of proposed rulemaking asking the public what direction USDA should take with respect to the rule. In yesterday’s release, the USDA noted that more than 40,000 of the 47,000 total comments received supported implementing the rule immediately. Only one commenter suggested the rule should be delayed.

“The public has high expectations for food that carries the organic label. These expectations are being met or exceeded by more than 90% of organic farmers, who also overwhelmingly support the implementation of these rules without further delay. We should not be catering to the interests of those few producers that do not believe in the values of organic agriculture,” Lipstreu stated.

Study Highlights Growth of Organic Agriculture in Ohio: Ohio Now 7th in the Nation in the Number of Organic Farms

Contact:
Amalie Lipstreu, Policy Program Coordinator, (614) 421-2022, amalie@oeffa.org

Lauren Ketcham, Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022, lauren@oeffa.org
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Columbus, OH—A government survey of U.S. organic farms shows that Ohio ranks 7th in the nation in its number of organic farms. Ohio is seeing double digit growth in the number of organic farms, organic land in production, and organic sales, illustrating the role of organic production in economic development.
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The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agriculture Statistics Service’s “2016 Certified Organic Survey,” showed Ohio’s organic sales increased by more than 30 percent since 2015 and the number of certified organic farms in Ohio is up by 24 percent. Since 2015, Ohio moved up from 8th to 7th in the nation in the number of organic farms.
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The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has prepared a two page summary of the findings, “Highlights from the 2016 Certified Organic Survey: Ohio in Context.”
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Overall, the U.S. saw $7.6 billion in organic sales, as well as an 11 percent increase in the number of organic farms. More than 5 million acres of certified organic acreage are in production in the U.S., up 15 percent since 2015.
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“The 2016 survey illustrates the strength of organic production and sales in the state of Ohio. Organic production continues to be a bright spot in U.S. agriculture,” said Amalie Lipstreu, OEFFA policy coordinator. “As more farmers move land into organic production, it is important that we make sure we are doing all we can to support their success.”
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Despite this growth and strong consumer demand, investments in organic research through USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Institute represent an average of just two-tenths of one percent of overall funding each year and Ohio has no extension educator positions dedicated to serving organic farmers.
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“Organic production has not been able to keep up with demand, so this is a good time to review our agricultural funding as well as state and federal agency services to make sure investments are made in this growth industry so more Ohio farmers are equipped with the information, resources, and support they need to take advantage of this economic opportunity,” concluded Lipstreu.
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Investments in organic farming could have larger economic impacts as well. According to a Penn State research paper on organic hotspots, on average, county poverty rates drop by 1.3 percent and median household incomes rise by more than $2,000 in counties with high organic activity that neighbor other high organic counties.
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OEFFA is one of the oldest and largest organic certification agencies in the country, and offers educational programming and support to organic farmers and businesses, and those looking to transition to organic.

New Bill Invests in Health of Farmers and Communities

Statement from Amalie Lipstreu, OEFFA Policy Program Coordinator
    
For Immediate Release:
October 5, 2017

Contact:
Amalie Lipstreu, OEFFA Policy Program Coordinator, (614) 421-2022, amalie@oeffa.org
Lauren Ketcham, OEFFA Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022, lauren@oeffa.org

Columbus, OH—Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, introduced the Local Food and Regional Market Supply (FARMS) Act (HR 3941) yesterday. This legislation directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue positive investments in local food systems, community economic development, and public health.

Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association (OEFFA) Policy Coordinator Amalie Lipstreu, released the following statement:

“The bill introduced by Senator Brown makes important investments that will allow farmers to reach new markets; increase community access to fresh, healthy, local food; and support the food infrastructure that connects producers to buyers. With commodity prices falling, farmers are increasingly looking for new opportunities and for some that means investments close to home where markets for locally and regionally produced food continue to rise.

Even with the growing demand for food produced in Ohio, some farmers struggle because they don’t have access to the infrastructure they need. It could be storage, transportation, or processing that limits the growth of markets that enrich farmers and local communities. Ohio is home to many thriving cities, rural communities, and farmland. By connecting the dots we can create wealth and health and move toward greater sustainability.”

New Farmers Positioned for Success with Heartland Farm Beginnings®: Applications Available Now

For Immediate Release: Monday, June 26, 2017

Contact: Kelly Henderson, (614) 421-2022, beginfarming@oeffa.org

(Columbus, OH) The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) is now accepting applications for Heartland Farm Beginnings®, a community-based, farmer-led, field-tested, in-depth farmer training program which helps beginning farmers create successful sustainable agriculture businesses.

OEFFA has partnered with the Farm Beginnings Collaborative (FBC), a national alliance of regional groups, which offers Farm Beginnings® programs in 13 states. The program has not been available in Ohio until now. Hundreds of farmers have graduated from Farm Beginnings® programs, and they have a strong track record.  For example, 71 percent of graduates were still farming in 2016.

“Participants are able to tap the knowledge of some of the most innovative and skilled farmers operating in the Midwest, as well as develop lifelong friendships and networks with other beginning farmers,” says Kelly Henderson, Begin Farming Program Coordinator at OEFFA. “They learn critical farm management skills and innovative marketing strategies to help build a business plan for their own farm.”

The year-long program begins in October 2017 with 10 business planning sessions throughout the fall and winter.  These are followed by the development of an individualized learning plan for the growing season to facilitate continuing education. Participants may also receive mentoring from successful sustainable agriculture farmers through internships, employment, or technical assistance arrangements.

Applicants can visit www.oeffa.org/q/farmbeginnings to read more about the program and request an application packet. The course fee is $1,200 and includes a membership in OEFFA and registration to the 2018 OEFFA conference. The application deadline is September 15.  Space is limited to 25 new farmers, so early applications are encouraged. Individuals who apply by August 15 receive an “early bird” discount of $200.

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OEFFA is a non-profit organization founded in 1979 by farmers, gardeners, and conscientious eaters who committed to work together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful food and farming system. For more information, go to www.oeffa.org.

See, Taste, and Experience Life on the Farm: 2017 Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series Guide Available

Columbus, OH—The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 2017 farm tour, workshop, and event line up offers a multitude of experiences, including: strolling through organic fields and pastures, acquiring basic homesteading skills, learning from early career growers following their farm dreams, hearing stories from Ohio’s founding sustainable farmers, grasping the ins and outs of growing food in the city and on reclaimed urban lots, scaling up vegetable production, choosing the right farm equipment, and processing poultry.
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OEFFA’s 27 summer farm tours, workshops, and other special events are part of the 2017 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series. Five of these events focus on urban agriculture and are presented by Central State University Cooperative Extension.
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Meet knowledgeable local farmers ready to share their wisdom, and experience sustainable agriculture up close during these farm tours:
  • Saturday, June 17: Renewable Energy Farm Tour—Woodland Ridge Farm and Learning Center, Athens Co.
  • Tuesday, June 20: On-Farm Research and Organic Vegetable Farm Tour—Artisan Acres, Wayne Co.
  • Sunday, June 25: Diversified Beginning Farm Tour—Homecoming Farm, Athens Co.
  • Saturday, July 29: Youth Urban Farming Tour—Green Corps Midtown Learning Farm, Cuyahoga Co.
  • Friday, August 11: Organic Grain Seed Breeding Farm Tour—Valley View Farm, Logan Co.
  • Sunday, August 13: Vegetable Equipment Systems Farm Tour—Mile Creek Farm, Montgomery Co.
  • Tuesday, August 22: Grass-Fed Livestock Farm Tour—Grassroots Farm, Pike Co.
  • Sunday, September 10: Healthy Soil Farm Tour—Margraf Family Farm, Seneca Co.
  • Saturday, September 23: Cheesemaking and Homestead Tour—Blackstone Farm, Monroe Co.
  • Saturday, October 21: Pasture-Raised Livestock Beginning Farm Tour—Moores Heritage Farm, Ashtabula Co.

Develop production skills, explore a dream to farm, tour the countryside, network with beginning farmers, and taste summer’s bounty during these workshops and special events:

  • Tuesday, August 8: Young and Beginning Farmers Q&A and Networking Session—Rambling House Soda, Franklin Co.
  • Sunday, August 20: The Farmers’ Table—Maplestar Farm, Geauga Co.
  • Sunday, September 10: Poultry Processing for the Small Farm and Homestead Workshop—Tea Hills Farms, Ashland Co.
  • Sunday, September 24: Harvest Bicycle RideFairfield Co.
  • Sunday, October 15: Farm Vision Workshop—OEFFA, Franklin Co.
  • October 2017-February 2018: Heartland Farm Beginnings® Training Course—OEFFA, Franklin Co.
  • Friday, November 3-Saturday, November 4: Grow More Vegetables, Make More Money Workshop—Procter Center, Madison Co.

Learn how to farm in the city and achieve food security, and tour thriving urban agriculture projects that are reclaiming vacant properties, during these urban agriculture farm tours and workshops presented by Central State University Cooperative Extension:

  • Saturday, June 24: Urban CSA Farm Tour—Urban Greens, Hamilton Co.
  • Friday, July 28: Diversified Urban Development Farm Tour—New Harvest Cafe and Urban Arts Center, Franklin Co.
  • Saturday, August 12: Personal Food Security Workshop—CSU Dayton Auditorium, Montgomery Co.
  • Saturday, September 2: Urban Livestock Farm Tour—Glass City Goat Gals, Lucas Co.
  • Wednesday, September 20: Farm the City on Solid Legal Ground Workshop—Cuyahoga County CSU Extension, Cuyahoga Co.

Explore audio excerpts, photography, multimedia pieces, and print materials from OEFFA’s Growing Right Oral History project during one of 15 stops on its tour of central Ohio farmers’ markets and groceries June-August. Get the full schedule here.

Visit with OEFFA member farms during four annual open houses held at Snowville Creamery on June 10, Foraged & Sown on July 16, Carriage House Farm on September 17, and Pastured Providence Farmstead on October 21.

This series is also promoted in cooperation with The Ohio State University Extension Sustainable Agriculture Team and the Clintonville Farmers’ Market, who are sponsoring additional tours.

All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise indicated in the series brochure.

For more information and complete details for all workshops and farm tours, click here.

OEFFA Announces 2017 Award Recipients: Mike Anderson, Holly Harman Fackler, and Alex Dragovich Recognized

For Immediate Release:
February 13, 2017
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Contact:
Carol Goland, OEFFA Executive Director—(614) 421-2022 Ext. 202, cgoland@oeffa.org
Amalie Lipstreu, OEFFA Policy Program Coordinator—(614) 421-2022 Ext. 208, amalie@oeffa.org
Lauren Ketcham, OEFFA Communications Coordinator—(614) 421-2022 Ext. 203, lauren@oeffa.org
   
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has named the 2017 recipients for the Stewardship Award and Service Award, as well as the first winner of the Advocate of the Year.
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Mike Anderson of Delaware County received the Stewardship Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the sustainable agriculture community, Holly Harman Fackler of Richland County received the Service Award, which recognizes extraordinary service in support of sustainable agriculture, and Alex Dragovich of Stark County was named Advocate of the Year, an award which recognizes exceptional contributions to sustainable agriculture policy advocacy.
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The announcements were made on Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11 in Dayton as part of OEFFA’s 38th annual conference, Growing Today, Transforming Tomorrow.

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2017 Stewardship Award Winner—Mike Anderson

From left: Mike Anderson, Sean McGovern
(Photo: Sara Graca, Palamedes Photography)
For 25 years, Mike Anderson of Delaware County has given his time and energy to Ohio’s organic farming community.
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He began his farming career at the Ohio State University demonstration farm, then housed at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, before managing vegetable production and field research for five years at the Stratford Ecological Center in Delaware. In 2001, he started Sundog Specialty Crops in Sunbury, a certified organic farm specializing in produce and cut flowers. Today, Anderson co-manages Whitebarn Organics, a certified organic farm in New Albany.
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“Patrons of many central Ohio farmers markets might have come for sunflowers, tomatoes or other produce, but they returned to hear his unmistakable and friendly laughter,” said Sean McGovern, outreach manager for the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) program and former OEFFA director, who presented the award to Anderson during the Friday ceremony.
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Throughout his entire career, Anderson has generously shared his time and expertise with other growers and with OEFFA. He served on OEFFA’s Board of Trustees in the 1990s, coordinating procurement of local food for the annual conference and planning farmer training workshops. Later, he served on the board of directors for the Pearl Alley Growers Association, on the administrative council of the NCR-SARE program, and on OEFFA’s staff as a Sustainable Agriculture Educator, helping organic and transitional farmers with their certification, production, and marketing questions.
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Anderson has hosted numerous farm tours and has led many workshops at the OEFFA conference and other events to share what he knows with other farmers and grow Ohio’s sustainable agriculture community.

“I’ve met many extraordinary farmers and sustainable agriculture advocates over the past 25 years and I know for certain that there are countless individuals much more deserving of this recognition then I am. I’m grateful for the people that I’ve met through OEFFA and inspired by their dedication to help us all become better stewards of our farms, families, and communities,” Anderson said.
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2017 Service Award Winner—Holly Harman Fackler
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From left: Holly Harman Fackler, Lauren Ketcham
(Photo: Sara Graca, Palamedes Photography)
Holly Harman Fackler, a Fairfield County native who lived for 30 years in Richland County, was an important influence and leader in the early days of OEFFA, acting as the organization’s first paid newsletter editor and employee.
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During the late 1980s and 1990s, she stepped up to do some of the heavy lifting required to build the then-fledgling organization into the state-wide, 4,325 member educational network it is today. For several years, Harman Fackler’s home in Plymouth, Ohio, was OEFFA’s office and her phone was OEFFA’s phone.
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She wrote, edited, designed, and distributed OEFFA’s newsletter, labeling and bundling newsletters at the dining room table, often with a young one on her knee. “We took pretty seriously the need to get information out, which now is much easier to get ahold of, but which, then, was not,” she said.
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In addition to her work on the newsletter, she built OEFFA’s first electronic membership database from paper files kept on index cards, responded to phone and mail inquiries, and networked with other OEFFA leaders. She served several terms on OEFFA’s Board of Trustees, helped organize OEFFA’s educational events, and took an active role in planning and preparing conference meals that reflected the values of the organization.
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“Holly’s giving and kind spirit infused her efforts to develop OEFFA’s early administrative and communications infrastructure and provided crucial energy and organizing skills at the time when they were needed most,” said McGovern.
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Harman Fackler found her way to OEFFA as a partner in a small diversified grain and livestock farm. “OEFFA was a lifesaver for us, really, and an important part of what we chose to do with farming… I feel like OEFFA really enriched my life, and I’m glad that it has been part of it.”

Harman Fackler worked as a reporter, blogger, editor and online editor, retiring in 2015 from Media Network of Central Ohio. Now she works, gardens, and volunteers in her hometown of Baltimore, Ohio.

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2017 Advocate of the Year Winner—Alex Dragovich
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From left: Alex Dragovich, Steve Maurer
(Photo: Sara Graca, Palamedes Photography)
Alex Dragovich of Mud Run Farm in Stark County has been a strong and guiding presence in OEFFA’s policy work since the program was formed in 2011, serving actively on OEFFA’s grassroots policy work groups and often speaking with the media and decision-makers about the impacts of fracking, climate change, food safety regulations, and genetic engineering on farmers.
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As a member of the fracking work group, which is focused on protecting farmers and our food system from the negative impacts of the oil and gas industry, Dragovich was literally the face of the issue when he agreed to work with a partner organization in representing farmers on a fracking billboard in southeast Ohio. He has experienced the issue first-hand; he has been approached by several companies with fracking lease offers, but has refused to sign a lease.
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“These are large industrial operations and history tells us that industrial accidents can occur, even when regulated,” Dragovich said. “I’m just not willing to sign away my land and water, and jeopardize the health of my chickens and those that I employ for the promise of some quick cash.”
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As a member of OEFFA’s genetic engineering (GE) work group, which works to secure clear and transparent labeling for GE foods and protect farmers from GE contamination, he organized and hosted a showing and discussion of the documentary, GMO OMG, and made calls to Senate candidates about their stance on GE labeling.
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Since 1980, he has owned and operated Mud Run Farm, where he raises free-range chickens and eggs and  grows vegetables, fruit, and small grains for local markets. His farm is powered mostly by horses, in part because he is concerned about climate change and wants to reduce his carbon emissions.

“Even with his tremendously busy schedule, Alex is actively involved in multiple issues, attending meetings and calls. He is known to pick up the phone and call the OEFFA office to ask what he can do help. He is truly dedicated and effective,” said Amalie Lipstreu, OEFFA’s Policy Program Coordinator. “Without farmers like Alex engaging in the issues that affect farming and food systems, we will not achieve our goals of moving toward a more sustainable agriculture and ultimately, a more healthy and habitable world.”

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“The sustainable food and farm economy we have today is a reflection of the vision, commitment, and hard work of our thousands of OEFFA members over the course of almost four decades,” said OEFFA executive director Carol Goland. “We are grateful for all of their collective efforts in pioneering organic and sustainable farming in Ohio, but it is a special pleasure to be able to recognize three truly remarkable individuals for their contributions and accomplishments.”
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For a full list of past Stewardship and Service Award winners, click here.
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About OEFFA
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) is a statewide, grassroots, nonprofit organization founded in 1979 by farmers, gardeners, and conscientious eaters working together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful food and farming system. For more information, go to www.oeffa.org.
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For high resolution photos of the award recipients, please contact Lauren Ketcham at lauren@oeffa.org. Please provide photo credit: Sara Graca, Palamedes Photography.

Urban Agriculture Featured at Ohio’s Largest Sustainable Food and Farm Conference: Central State University Cooperative Extension Presents Nine Hour Urban Agriculture Workshop Track

For Immediate Release: January 17, 2017

Contact:
Lauren Ketcham, OEFFA Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022, lauren@oeffa.org
Sabrina Pritchett, CSU Associate Director of Public Relations and Marketing, (937) 376-6323, spritchett@centralstate.edu
  
Urban agriculture offers exciting opportunities for individuals to make a living farming and gain educational and job training, and provide communities with healthy food.
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Addressing the specific challenges and issues that face urban farmers is the focus of a six-part workshop track sponsored by Ohio’s recently-designated 1890 land-grant institution, Central State University (CSU) Cooperative Extension.
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The workshop track is part of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 38th annual conference, Growing Today, Transforming Tomorrow, which will run Thursday, February 9 through Saturday, February 11 at the Dayton Convention Center in Dayton, Ohio.
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“Urban Agriculture has the ability to transform our urban and blighted communities by becoming a practical solution,” said Dr. Clarence Bunch, Associate Director at CSU Cooperative Extension Service. “Food security has been identified as a critical need by Central State University Extension. Our sponsorship of the urban agriculture workshop track and OEFFA Conference provides the support needed to offer practical solutions that benefit families and the local community.”
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Six 90-minute workshops, totaling nine hours of urban agriculture education, will address production practices for small spaces, business planning, and cost-effective technologies for efficient urban production:
  • Safe Handling and Use of Organic Approved Pesticides—Terry Grace, Ohio Central Community Co-op (Friday, February 10, 8:30-10 a.m.)
  • Urban Farm Planting and Management—Milan Karcic, Peace, Love, and Freedom Farm (Friday, February 10, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.)
  • Business Planning for Ag Entrepreneurs—Stephen Washington, Central State University (Friday, February 10, 2-3:30 p.m.)
  • Water Quality’s Role in Sustainability on Small and Urban Farms—Krishnakumar Nedunuri, Central State University (Saturday, February 11, 8:30-10 a.m.)
  • Low-Tech Farm Hacks and DIY Infrastructure—Lisa Helm, Dayton Urban Green (Saturday, February 11, 1:30-3 p.m.)
  • Growing Efficiently Through Technology—Cadance Lowell, Central State University Extension (Saturday, February 11, 3:30-5 p.m.)
In addition to the urban agriculture workshop track, the state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference will feature:
For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2017. Online registration will be open until January 23.
Our Sponsors
   
     
 
AgCredit, Agricultural Cooperative Association | Albert Lea Seed Co. | Eban Bakehouse | Edible Cleveland | Edible Columbus | Great River Organics | Green BEAN Delivery | Green Field Farms | Hiland Supply Co. | Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream | Lucky Cat Bakery | Organic Valley | Stauf’s Coffee Roasters | WQTT Ag Today Central Ohio
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Andelain Fields | Curly Tail Organic Farm | DNO Produce | Eden Foods | Kevin Morgan Studio | Palamades Photography | Plant Talk Radio
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Bexley Natural Market | Carriage House Farm | Casa Nueva | D&S Farm & Garden Supply | Dale Filbrun and family, Morning Sun Farm | Great Lakes Organic Feed Mill | Hartzler Dairy Farm | IBA | Jorgensen Farm | Lucky Penny Farm | Lucky’s Market | Northridge Organic Farm | Nourse Farms | Rhinegeist Brewing | Stutzman Farm | Swainway Urban Farm | Tea Hills Farms
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About OEFFA
OEFFA is a state-wide, grassroots, nonprofit organization founded in 1979 by farmers, gardeners, and conscientious eaters working together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful food and farming system.
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About Central State University
Central State University, located in Wilberforce, Ohio, is a regionally accredited 1890 land-grant university with a 129-year tradition of preparing students from diverse backgrounds and experiences for leadership, research, and service. The university fosters academic excellence within a nurturing environment and provides a strong liberal arts foundation and STEM-Ag curriculum leading to professional careers and advanced studies globally.

In-Depth Workshops to Explore Vital Farm Business and Production Practices

For Immediate Release: January 10, 2017

Contact:
Lauren Ketcham, OEFFA Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022, lauren@oeffa.org
Renee Hunt, OEFFA Program Director, (614) 421-2022, renee@oeffa.org
  
Four full-day pre-conference intensive workshops designed to help farmers develop their production and business skills will be featured as part of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 38th annual conference, Growing Today, Transforming Tomorrow.
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The conference will be held Thursday, February 9 through Saturday, February 11 at the Dayton Convention Center in Dayton, Ohio.
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“These day-long workshops allow farmers to delve deep into these topics with experienced presenters who have direct, hands-on experience,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt.
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The four pre-conference intensive sessions are:
  • Farming Smarter, Not Harder: Tune Up Your Farm Business and Increase Your Net Profit—This full-day session, led by Richard Wiswall of Cate Farm in Vermont and author of The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook, will help farmers plan to increase their net profit, market their products strategically, and meet their long-term business goals. Participants will learn how to efficiently determine the profitability of different enterprises, and about farm office administration, key financial statements, employee management, and more.
  • Growing Bionutrient Rich Food: Applying the Principles of Biological Systems—Dan Kittredge, founder and executive director of the Bionutrient Food Association, will take an in-depth look at soil, crop, and human nutrition and how farmers can improve crop quality by applying the principles of biological systems to their land. With a strong focus on management practices and techniques, this intensive session will cover pest and disease control, soil testing, mineral balancing, cover crops and minimal tillage, plant visual analysis, seed quality, Brix, and other topics.
  • Respect Your Elderberries: Growing and Selling Niche Fruit Crops from Aronia to Service BerriesJim Riddle of Blue Fruit Farm in Minnesota will explore how to grow high value specialty perennial berries, like black currants, elderberries, aronia berries, josta berries, service berries, and honeyberries. He will describe nursery sources, site selection and preparation, fertility, irrigation, pollination, pest management, and marketing challenges and strategies for effectively selling these niche berries.
  • Building a Profitable Pastured Broiler Business—Mike and Christie Badger of Badger’s Millside Farm will take an in-depth look at developing a profitable pastured broiler business. Topics will include breed selection, designing shelters, nutrition, management, marketing, and pricing.
All pre-conference intensive workshops will be held on Thursday, February 9 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Dayton, which is attached to the Dayton Convention Center. Pre-registration is required. The cost is $75 for members and $90 for non-members, and includes lunch.
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Beyond the pre-conference sessions, other Thursday activities include:
  • The Contrary Farmers’ Social from 7-9 p.m. at the nearby 2nd Street Market featuring food, drinks, and a remembrance of Ohio’s Contrary Farmer, Gene Logsdon, led by David Kline of Farming Magazine;
  • Free, public admission to OEFFA’s Exhibit Hall from 4-7 p.m.;
  • A free, public Farm Land of Opportunity reception from 5-6:30 designed to connect farmers looking for land with established farmers with land and farming opportunities;
  • An Old MacGyver Had a Farm meet-up from 5-6:30 where farmers can share on-farm innovations they’ve developed to solve problems on the farm; and
  • An oral history presentation from 5-6:30 p.m. featuring stories, multimedia shorts, and interviews with the founders of Ohio’s organic movement.

In addition, on Friday and Saturday, the conference will feature:

For more information, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2017. Online registration is open until January 23.
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Our Sponsors
    
   
     
 
AgCredit, Agricultural Cooperative Association | Albert Lea Seed Co. | Eban Bakehouse | Edible Cleveland | Edible Columbus | Great River Organics | Green BEAN Delivery | Green Field Farms | Hiland Supply Co. | Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream | Lucky Cat Bakery | Organic Valley | Stauf’s Coffee Roasters | WQTT Ag Today Central Ohio
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Andelain Fields | Curly Tail Organic Farm | DNO Produce | Eden Foods | Kevin Morgan Studio | Palamades Photography | Plant Talk Radio
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Bexley Natural Market | Carriage House Farm | Casa Nueva | D&S Farm & Garden Supply | Dale Filbrun and family, Morning Sun Farm | Great Lakes Organic Feed Mill | Hartzler Dairy Farm | IBA | Jorgensen Farm | Lucky Penny Farm | Lucky’s Market | Northridge Organic Farm | Nourse Farms | Rhinegeist Brewing | Stutzman Farm | Swainway Urban Farm | Tea Hills Farms